“The biggest mistake people make in attempting to settle personal problems is to determine, only by themselves, what their potential is.” – H. Spencer Lewis
Have you ever gotten close to reaching a goal, but then seemingly inexplicably you have an overwhelming desire to either screw it all up or fall back on a bad habit? You’re not alone: self-sabotage is something nearly all of us are guilty of at some point in our lives. If self-sabotage seems like a pattern in your life, follow the blueprint below to eliminate it once and for all.
Why do we seem to continually stand in our own way? Why do we make sure we fail just when we’re so close to achieving our goals? And more importantly, what can we do to disrupt this pattern, make sure we reach our goals, and continue moving forward?
The Root Causes of Self-Sabotage
Before we dig into some solutions to eliminate self-sabotage from our lives, we need to look at the potential root causes of this pervasive issue.
- The familiarity of failure. This is a type of behavior called “learned helplessness.” Perhaps we’re so pre-conditioned to expect not to get what we want due to previous failures in life, that when we come close to success we have a subconscious tendency to destroy it.
- Success is scary. The bottom line is that it’s easier to never change anything, and some of us tend to feel more secure with that fact. Being successful with your goals means that your life will never be the same, and it can be an unsettling feeling.
- Fear of not being good enough. What if you give something your absolute 100% best effort, and yet you still fail? Some of us might consider it easier to make sure we don’t give it our all to avoid finding out the answer to this question.
- Feeling unworthy of success. Why do you necessarily deserve the success you’re trying to achieve? If part of your subconscious mind doesn’t believe you truly deserve to reach your goals, it will hold you back from achieving it.
- The victim’s mentality. Even if you are truly a victim of unfortunate circumstances in the past, a victim’s mentality is going to continually hold you back.
So how do we break free of this pre-conditioned self-sabotage? In a nutshell, we let go of the past, we teach ourselves self-love, and we understand that we alone are in control of our thoughts and therefore our destiny. Here’s a step-by-step plan to finally say goodbye to our internal saboteur:
- Create a vivid image of success. Casual visualization of reaching your goals is not effective. However, if you truly commit to a detailed and clear image in your mind of what it would be like to accomplish your goals, an image so in-depth that it seems almost real, it has the potential to pull you towards it with a magnetic force.
- Let go of the past. No matter what has happened to your in the past, you are moving forward into your future, and you alone have the power to shape your own destiny. Empty any negative thoughts about your past into a journal and actively come to terms with them. Try to find the positives in them, express gratitude for having learned those lessons, and then release them.
- Love yourself. Remind yourself that you ARE worth it…especially if you put in your total effort and passion into something! Practicing meditation and affirmations here can make a massive difference. Come up with a mantra or saying to tell yourself (or a series of affirmations) to tell yourself that not only do you deserve to reach your goals, the universe is unfolding as it should. Tell yourself that holding on to self-loathing does nothing but hold you back.
- Understand that success isn’t black or white. If you set a goal and truly give it your all but don’t quite get there, it does not necessarily mean you failed. You may have learned something incredibly important about yourself. Appreciate the progress you’ve made and continue to move forward. If you fail to reach your goal for other reasons, such as lack of effort, take a step back and examine what you can do to truly focus and drive forward with maximum effort.
- Enjoy the process! Imagine you’re on a trapeze. It might feel more safe to hold on to the bar you’re on, but in order to move forward you need to let go and fly through the air towards the next bar. And you know what? The time you’re in the air is the absolute best time to be alive! You are only limited by your imagination.
Have you experienced self-sabotage in your life before? If you’d like to share, tell us what you’ve done – or what you’re going to do in the future – to move past these self-imposed obstacles and become the absolute best version of yourself!